Linux development

Developing Defold applications for the Linux platform is a straight forward process with very few considerations to make.

Project settings

Linux specific application configuration is done from the Linux section of the game.project settings file.


Q: Why is the Defold editor super small when run on a 4k or HiDPI monitor when using GNOME?

A: Change the scaling factor before running Defold. source

$ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface scaling-factor 2
$ ./Defold

A: An alternative solution, especially when you wish to scale up by a fraction, is to modify the Defold/config file and on the vmargs line add glass.gtk.uiScale: source

vmargs = -Dglass.gtk.uiScale=1.5,-Dfile.encoding=UTF-8,...
vmargs = -Dglass.gtk.uiScale=175%,-Dfile.encoding=UTF-8,...
vmargs = -Dglass.gtk.uiScale=192dpi,-Dfile.encoding=UTF-8,...

More on this value in the Arch Linux HiDPI wiki article.

Q: Why does mouse clicks on Elementary OS go through the editor onto whatever is below?

A: Start the editor like this:

$ GTK_CSD=0 ./Defold

Q: The Defold editor crashes when opening a collection or game object and the crash refers to “com.jogamp.opengl”

A: On certain distributions (like Ubuntu 18) there is an issue with the version of jogamp/jogl Defold uses vs. the version of Mesa on the system. You can override which GL version that gets reported when calling glGetString(GL_VERSION) by setting the MESA_GL_VERSION_OVERRIDE to 2.1 or a larger value but less than or equal to the version of your driver. You can check which is the maximum OpenGL version your driver supports using glxinfo:

glxinfo | grep version

Example output (look for “OpenGL version string: x.y”):

server glx version string: 1.4
client glx version string: 1.4
GLX version: 1.4
Max core profile version: 4.6
Max compat profile version: 4.6
Max GLES1 profile version: 1.1
Max GLES[23] profile version: 3.2
OpenGL core profile version string: 4.6 (Core Profile) Mesa 20.2.6
OpenGL core profile shading language version string: 4.60
OpenGL version string: 4.6 (Compatibility Profile) Mesa 20.2.6
OpenGL shading language version string: 4.60
OpenGL ES profile version string: OpenGL ES 3.2 Mesa 20.2.6
OpenGL ES profile shading language version string: OpenGL ES GLSL ES 3.20
GL_EXT_shader_implicit_conversions, GL_EXT_shader_integer_mix,

Use version 2.1 or version matching your graphics driver:


Q: Why am I getting “com.jogamp.opengl.GLException: Graphics configuration failed” when launching Defold?

A: On certain distributions (for instance Ubuntu 20.04) there is an issue with the new Mesa drivers (Iris) when running Defold. You can try using an older driver version when running Defold:


Q: The Defold editor crashes when opening a collection or game object and the crash refers to

A: The libffi version of your distribution and the one required by Defold (version 6 or 7) does not match. Make sure or is installed under /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu. You can download like this:

$ wget
$ sudo dpkg -i libffi7_3.3-6_amd64.deb

Next you specify the path to this version in the LD_PRELOAD environment variable when running Defold:

$ LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ ./Defold

Q: My OpenGL drivers are outdated. Can I still use Defold?

A: Yes, it might be possible to use Defold if you enable software rendering. You can enable software rendering by setting the LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE environment variable to 1:


Q: Why doesn’t my Defold game start when I try to run it on Linux?

A: Check the console output in the editor. If you get the following message:

dmengine: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Then you need to install libopenal1. The package name varies between distributions, and in some cases you might have to install the openal and openal-dev or openal-devel packages.

$ apt-get install libopenal-dev

Q: Why does the top menu close before I can select something?

A: This is likely caused by the window manager used (for instance Qtile or i3). This is a known issue in JavaFX and it can either be solved by setting the GDK_DISPLAY environment variable to 1:¨

$ GDK_DISPLAY=1 ./Defold


Or by modifying the Defold/config file and on the vmargs line add -Djdk.gtk.version=2:

vmargs = -Djdk.gtk.version=2,-Dfile.encoding=UTF-8,...

Q: Why am I not able to browse all available file locations when I select Open From Disk?

A: If you are running Defold from Steam using Flatpak you need to give Steam permission to access your other drives. You can modify the permissions of your Flatpak applications using Flatseal or similar tool.